News & Press Releases

GD4S Highlighted the Role Renewable Gases to Facilitate Decarbonisation at the European Utility Week 2019

Paris, November 13th 2019. Ian Kilgallon, Business Development & Innovation Manager, Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) took to the stage on behalf of Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S) at the 2019 Hub Session at the European Utility Week. His presentation, Integrating Renewable Gases to Facilitate Decarbonisation’, was well received on the day and highlighted the role of the gas infrastructure and renewable gases as key to decarbonisation, with particular focus on Ireland.

Developed collaboratively between GNI’s European Affairs team and fellow GD4S members, the presentation clearly depicted how gas distribution networks can be leveraged to facilitate achievement of the EU’s decarbonisation agenda and specifically utilised to deliver renewable gases. It featured a number of relevant case studies, including Project GRAZE from Ireland and projects from France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal to highlight the success of renewable gas projects Europe-wide. 



Opening with an overview of biomethane production in the EU, the presentation looked to the vast potential for production and growth of biomethane. Describing how gas distribution networks can be leveraged to facilitate achievement of the EU’s decarbonisation agenda, and specifically how it can be utilised to deliver renewable gases, the presentation illustrated how gas distribution networks are a valuable existing asset in the decarbonisation of energy, which can be leveraged to enable development of renewable gases.

Focusing in particular on Ireland, Mr Kilgallon outlined Gas Networks Ireland’s vision to become carbon neutral by 2050 - capable of delivering at least 18.7Mt/annum CO2 emissions savings. Renewable gas is key to this plan, and their target is to have 20% biomethane gas on the network by 2030, and 37% by 2050. In essence, the gas network will provide a sustainable, secure and cost-effective pathway to decarbonisation.

He outlined the framework for successful biomethane market development, including the necessity for core mechanisms, such as Supply, Distribution, Certification, Demand and Finance to ensure success. In identifying the imperative of policy and financial support, Ian nodded to the importance also of considering the consumer “It is vital that in our rush to decarbonise we use all the economically efficient means to get us there. It is also vital that we prioritise technologies that require little change in consumer behaviour.”
 

Sharing the Commercial Design and Supply Chain picture in the Irish context, Ian reiterated the potential for growth, as the development of renewable biomethane not only supports job creation, but is now "a key criteria for international companies when deciding to invest in Ireland." "This is a real competitiveness issue for Ireland,"  he added, "with many Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) companies factoring the availability of renewable gas into their investment location decisions."  In addition, he explained how renewable gases contribute to the circular economy (e.g. use of wastes), how the use of renewable gases can ensure security of supply and how gas networks provide greater flexibility in the management of demand response. Not only is renewable gas substantially cleaner, it requires no significant change in operations or infrastructure. It is an easy choice to make, for both businesses and domestic users.”



Mr Kilgallon closed out his presentation with a number of case studies from EU countries, including Project GRAZE (Ireland), Agribiométhane (Vendée, France), Biogas Fatto Bene (Italy) and the European Corridors for Natural Gas Transport Efficiency (Spain, Portugal, France & Germany), all of which demonstrated the overarching theme of the presentation, illustrating the potential and the practical implementation of how countries are now leveraging gas networks to facilitate decarbonisation, utilising existing assets combined with new technology. The future is bright.

About the presenter:

Ian Kilgallon is Business Development & Innovation Manager, Gas Networks Ireland. An Industrial Engineer, Ian has been working in the gas industry for over 14 years, where he now leads on progressing collaborative innovation projects with key stakeholder companies, research organisations and developers. Ian’s current focus is on assisting Irish industry to decarbonise with renewable energy and supporting new rural developments, such as indigenous renewable gas (biomethane) and community cooperative projects.

In presenting at Paris, Ian represented GD4S of which GNI is a member company, a position it shares with Distrigaz Sud Retele (Romania), Galp Gás Natural Distribuição (Portugal), GRDF (France), Italgas (Italy) and Nedgia (Spain). Together, these companies serve 27 million customers that represent the equivalent of 20% of the EU gas market. GD4S is committed to the decarbonisation of Europe’s energy system by 2050 and to unlocking the potential of renewable gases and gas grids.

Article originated by:

Mary O’Mahony
European Affairs - Innovation & Policy
Gas Networks Ireland

contact GD4S.eu
66, Avenue de Cortenbergh
B-1000 Bruxelles
+ 32 2 280 39 94

contact GD4S.eu
66, Avenue de Cortenbergh
B-1000 Bruxelles
+ 32 2 280 39 94